A week or so ago, my wife Heather took up a job as childrens/youth/family outreach worker at the our church. It’s a 3 yr post, so as long as we can keep the British govt from kicking us out of the country we’re planning to stay here until then. We were already planning on being here 1 year anyway, so this will be 2 extra–until 2012, Lord willing. I should finish my doctorate around November, ideally before SBL so nothing will be hanging over my head. For my own employment, I’m looking at trying to get a post-doctorate fellowship, and the current idea I’ve got is to do some translation of Cyril of Alexandria’s NT commentaries, which are as yet untranslated into any modern language. I’ve got a couple of meetings this week to feel out how feasible the project is. If nothing turns up, I may pimp myself out as an accountant again. 🙂 We’re definitely excited.


I want to remind all the guys out there that Sunday is Mother’s Day, so remind your wife to do all the housework on Saturday so she can relax on her special day. She deserves it!

The owner accepted out offer on the house to rent, so this afternoon we filled in all the formal application material and put down a deposit. [One tip: if you go with a 12 month lease instead of just 6 they’ll often knock a little off the list price–we’re saving £25/month.] As long as they find us kosher financially, we’re good to go on 21 April (the day of the eviction). We’ve packed enough of the house that we’ve decided to go to Ireland whether or not the eviction gets delayed at our court hearing on Tuesday. If it does, then we’ll just have more time to clean the new place before we settle in. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. They’ve meant a lot to all of us.

I appears that dishonest people live in England, too.  Let me give you a brief run down of my last two days and a little background.

7am, leave for the office/study room to do work on finalising an article on Rom 3.23.
10am, get call from my wife saying that a baliff has been by the house telling us that we are going to be evicted in a fortnight (2 weeks). It appears that our landlord has not been paying his mortgage. Since our lease term officially ended about a year ago, we essentially don’t have any rights to stay. (I never ‘renewed’ it because the previous time they wanted to increase the rent, so I just kept paying the same amount and all was well, until now.) Here are few links describing it: Sky, Tiscali, Shelter
10:01am, WHAT!?!?!?!?! What’s he been doing with my 2.5 yrs of rent payments?
10:02am, have a firm call with the management company asking why they didn’t tell me about the court proceedings before now.
10:30am, wonder how to salvage a trip to Ireland that was to be 6 of the next 14 days before eviction.
11:00am, call to landlord’s mortgage company to see if we can work out a deal for us to stay until they sell the house. response: that’s not in my box of pat answers. where’s the logic? wouldn’t be better to have some income from the property instead of having it sit empty? realise that it is ‘when’ not ‘if’ we will be leaving this house.
12:30pm, go to the Civil and Family Court to file a petition to stay the execution, I mean postpone the eviction. Leaving to Ireland 15th, but with Easter break court is closed Thurs 9th-13th. But they amazingly can fit in a hearing the 14th. We can tell the lady is having mercy on us. Incidentally, we saw a NT on her desk.
1pm: we decide: If there is an extension, we go to Ireland. If not, we stay and lose our plane tickets and deposits on hotels and car.
2pm, go home and feverishly search the internet for a new house to let in our part of town since my kids go to school here and my wife works around here (seems like RightMove is the best overall site to use), glad I documented the process from our first try 3 years ago since it made it easier the second time around: Settling In
4pm, narrow down the list and make viewing appointments, learn that several are already taken.
6pm, dinner
7pm, begin to sort closets, wardrobes, etc.
10pm, crash because of mental exhaustion

8:30am, go to dentist, pay £16 to have my teeth counted (no cleanings here unless a problem), all family in and out 20 min.
10am, set off by foot to first viewing–house is only 10 min from current hub of life, all aspects of house have been remodeled: floors, kitchen cabinets, bathroom, walls painted; it sits beside a huge city park; price is £75 less than current place; near to boys’ friends. This is a place we can live and would want to live! Extreme relief.
11am, keep sorting and packing
12pm, lunch
2:30pm, view next house. 25 min by foot, insides not updated for 40 years.
2:31pm, Decide to go with house #1.
3pm, place offer on the house #1, and wait until tomorrow to hear response.
3:01, more packing
4pm, crash–again, just mentally tired
6pm, dinner arrives from minister and family! such a timely gift that just saves so much time and energy
7pm, watch movie with boys and fall asleep
9pm, boys in bed watch a little tv–chelsea beats liverpool 3-1 in the champions league quarter(?) finals
10pm, try to go to bed, can’t because fell asleep during movie
10:30pm, remember that I needed to send deposit to apartment for SBL Rome (good site: SleepingRome), so hit the computer
11:00pm, blog and check email, consider how fortunate we are to have such a good community from friends (internaltional and local) and a helpful church body
throughout the day, calls and emails offering help, encouragement, advice, baby sitting, etc.
I’m sure I missed something in all that.

It’s been a full two days. We’re quite pleased with the house we found and are hoping that our offer is well received. The big question mark is whether our Ireland trip will work out so we don’t lose the money. Thank God for good friends to help us out in all this.

Just after my 12 month review, I also had my 10 year review, or rather, anniversary.  Heather and I have had 10 great years.  We’re on the same page and no need to upgrade–we’re already on the right path!  Thanks Heather.  I’ll always love you!